Dan and Ed bring back Nicky Indicavitch because she is one of the most eloquent and knowledgeable spokespersons for what has become a National Model for grassroots civic involvement and change. In a state where the voice of the citizens has been ignored, and where representative government has been intentionally misled, a breakthrough occurred that is moving the state away from the control of a small minority of ideologues and profiteers and giving the power back to the people.
Nicky explains the Red For Ed movement that sprang up because of the damages done to our public education system: The denigration of teachers, elected representatives ignoring family values, children damaged by intentional acts to destroy public education, and the lack of systems of accountability.
In January of 2018, few voices were heard by our legislators and they proceeded as if they had complete immunity from the wishes of the citizens they were elected to represent. By April, over 40,000 voices where raised in opposition to their contempt. By May, over 250,000 Arizona citizen taxpayers were organized via community centers, all demanding change.
Parents want to know what has happened to children as the Legislature has starved public education. Teachers are explaining what has happened and what can be changed to help all of our children. It will take time to repair the damage, to get voters active again, and to reverse the damage done by Dark Money (dirty money = dirty politicians), and to repair the subverted representative system that has caused so much suffering.
This process is not a sprint, it is a marathon that will continue through the years.
Nicky is a great source of information. You will listen to this podcast and share it with others. It is that good.
Dan and Ed asked Jim Hall to return to continue reporting on his work for Charter School Accountability. In episode 29, April 11, 2018, Jim explained his motivation and his research into how taxpayer money is given out with little or no accountability. In Arizona, millions of taxpayer dollars have gone into privatizer’s pockets. Part of this theft is allowed by an ideology that that is labeled “School Choice”. A significant part is due to elected representatives who have done away with conflict of interest rules, accountability systems, and democratically elected school boards to track how public dollars are spent. Ideological belief systems overshadow representative democracy and allow individuals to profit from tax dollars collected for education.
Jim has done extensive research for over four years to track taxpayer dollars and inform the public of the mentality that hurts children, their families, and our communities. He has been instrumental in educating those who can stop this theft.
Dan and Ed welcome back Rosemary Agneessens, one of the most knowledgeable and energetic ladies we have the privilege of having as our guest. Rosemary shares insights into the amazing things happening for civic involvement and representative change in Arizona. She explains the Red For Ed movement that has activated educators, parents, and citizens in this Republican right to work state. Arizona, like too many other states where the will of the majority is not respected, is a state controlled by Dark Money and a Libertarian version of a legislature and government. It is a state where the will of the citizens has not been a consideration.
This Spring educators united throughout the state and addressed a 30 year system of starving public education, and false economic philosophies that only work for those in power. As the Red For Ed movement gained prominence, educators found their professional voices and fought for kids and their profession. Red For Ed is an exportable model that works to counter anti-democratic powers.
As a community organizer, Rosemary shares an exportable model for citizens who wish to take back their democracy. Her insights benefit communities everywhere.
Dan and Ed are still reeling from this remarkable and informative visit with Jim Hall, educator and investigator of charter school finance in Arizona. Charter school finance? Sounds boring? Well, hold on to your grip on reality and prepare for information that will help you fight for teachers and students against a state government that is not honest or above board and has hidden the facts about the tens of millions of dollars that have been stolen from Arizona taxpayers. Fraud and abuse of public funds are only part of the scam the so-called ‘representatives of the people’ have engineered. Greed, profit, and ideological beliefs forced by so-called Libertarians and extremists have opened Arizona to the few rotten enough to steal from children, and design systems to destroy public schools. Please share this podcast and help it go viral. Jim’s well researched information is what parents, teachers and all citizens need to reclaim democracy in our state.
Ed and Dan believe the American education system can recover from the destructive work of privatizers, profiteers, and those who claim they can force solutions without identifying the problems. There is no more potent group than the PTA (PTSA) as they know what is happening to our children and how to support our public schools. We are very fortunate to have Beth Simek, the State President of the Arizona PTA, and Nicky Indicavitch, Northern Arizona Region Director of the PTA, and the Parent Coordinator for Arizona Schools Now. The information they share is exactly what every parent and teacher must have if we are to counter those who plan to destroy public schools.
Ed and Dan have a special guest, Jennifer Hernandez, Community Engagement Manager for Expect More Arizona, one of the increasingly effective groups educating citizens about what it will take to regain support for public schools. Citizen’s groups like Expect More Arizona are working to help communities organize to fight for quality education. Among the tools that Jennifer talks about is the Education Progress Meter which provides metrics and information documenting where we are and where we want to go. How leaders like Jen are organizing is important information for citizens in every state.
Jen shares very positive and successful programs that are making a difference for kids. The last few minutes of this podcast will energize you and give you hope.
Dan and Ed welcome Vickey La Motte, an accomplished educator, visionary, developer, and the first director of the Family Enrichment Center (FEC), a lab school model for Early Care and Education Programs. The Center is located on the Prescott campus of Yavapai Community College. Through her work, and the contributions of those she has attracted, the most critical needs of child rearing parents, and early childhood development are being addressed.
Vickey explains why the need for early childhood development programs is proven and beyond question. The results from quality programs attract parents of all economic and education levels. Sadly, early childhood programs do not receive the economic support necessary to meet the demand. The FEC has a large waiting list of families, and most of them cannot be served. Vickey explains the benefits of quality, highly individualized programs with certified staff for children and parents. The brain, empathy, physical motor and problem solving skills are all developed and enhanced following the child's interests and curiosity.
In this podcast Ed and Dan answer a listener’s question: Who are you guys and what are some of the most important things you have done? Ed shares adventures as a high school teacher in a frank discussion of the why and how of his approaches to meeting the needs of approximately 150 kids a day in 42 minute classes. Dan shares the help he had from mentors and his experiences as a beginning elementary school teacher. These stories that Ed and Dan share are insights into the experiences that create strong professional educators.